Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 13: More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About My Health

But not in a disgusting way!

I'm just finding new things out and feeling the urge to talk about them.

As some of you know, I have an under active thyroid. Specifically, I have Hashimoto's disease. This means that my immune system thinks that my thyroid is a foreign body and attacks it. This leads to a swollen thyroid which leads to it under producing the hormones it's supposed to be putting out.

The symptoms for under active thyroid are fun: fatigue, sensitivity to the cold, dry skin, hoarse voice, elevated cholesterol, weight gain and difficulty in losing weight, muscle and joint pain, swelling of the joints, muscle weakness, depression, and memory loss to name a few. Not everyone gets all the symptoms, of course. Mine presented as extreme fatigue and depression - as in, unable, literally unable to get out of bed in the morning. I also gained weight continually, no matter what kinds of diets I tried or how I exercised and have yet to be able to lose it all.

I've been working with my trainer for a couple of years now and while we've made progress, it's stopped. And no, I don't eat perfectly but I eat fairly healthily and I exercise 4-5 days a week, heavy on the cardio. I should be losing weight and I'm not.

So I'm seeing a new doctor. I've seen her once and we went over the problems I'm having. She took blood and when I see her next week we'll talk about my options. I'm not looking for surgery or any sort of 'quick fix' because I know from the past that they're not the answer. I just want to know what's still wrong that what I'm doing isn't working.

In the mean time I've been doing some more reading about my thyroid. Turns out that a lot of people who have Hashimoto's also have Celiac disease. And maybe it's just WebMD-itis, but I read through the symptoms for that and I have several. Some of which, like depression/irritability and joint/muscle pain, I thought were left overs from the thyroid. So that's something I'm going to talk about with the doctor next week. I really don't *want* it to be the reason because a gluten-free diet is basically the only answer and all my favorite foods contain gluten apparently! :(

The other thing I've been looking at is the medicine that I'm on. I take Synthroid, which is a synthetic hormone replacement, to take the place of the hormones my thyroid isn't putting out. I've been on it since I was diagnosed, with increasing dosages as time goes on. That's normal, since the thyroid disease is not something that can be 'repaired'. It's something I'll live with for the rest of my life but given the problems that other people I know have it's not that big a deal. I was under the impression that Synthroid was the best/only option out there. *But*.

There's another thyroid (and I can't tell you how many times I've misspelled thyroid in this post...) replacement called Armour. Which is...look away Muslim and/or Vegan readers!

...desiccated, ground up pig thyroid.

Okay, you guys can look now.

But it seems to work better than the Synthroid for some people. So it's something else that I'm going to mention to my doctor. I thought I was managing my disease, but clearly I've remained ignorant and complacent about a lot of aspects of it. No more.


  1. I am sorry to hear that. I hope your health gets better with the new doctor.
    It took me more than three years to admit I have depression and must see a doctor. It turned out to be a bad kind of depression. Luckily for me things are getting way better.
    I am not familiar with your disease. I just know what you have mentioned. I hope it is treatable or at least finds a medication that cam make your life easier.

    1. Thank you. My health really isn't *bad*, I don't want to give that impression. Most of my symptoms are taken care of by the drugs that I'm on now. I'm just looking at maybe there being something better that can help me even more.

      Ah! I'm sorry to hear about your depression and I'm very happy to hear that you've seen a doctor and things are getting better. I have a couple family members who have dealt with or are still dealing with depression and I often wish I understood what they were going through better so that I could help them somehow.

  2. Random medical fact: we have tons similarities to the anatomy and physiology of pigs. The genetics would shock most. It doesn't surprise me one bit that pig hormones could help your condition.

    I hope your new doctor can find you a better answer. I went on for 10 years thinking I had asthma but they just kept changing my dose and I never really got better. Saw a new doctor by chance and found out I don't have asthma at all I have a much milder condition treated with allergy meds. I'm super healthy now for me at least haha. So you never know. Change of opinion can make a huge difference.

    1. I knew this! :)

      I wonder sometimes if that's why the whole 'don't eat pigs' thing came along. Because they're so similar in so many ways and when they scream it sounds very human. Or so I've been told. I try not to make animals scream in general.

      I see her next Tuesday and I have high hopes for this. She seems very willing to take my ideas into consideration even though I'm not a doctor.

  3. I remember your talking about your health in the past, but I don't know that I ever knew what you had. I know of another blogger with that disease so it is familiar to me because of her mentioning it.

    I am glad God allowed pigs to be helpful in medical situations. Just because He instructed the Jews not to eat them (along with a number of other creatures), doesn't mean they are to be hated and condemned for eternity.

    I don't like rats or mice, but I know they are useful in medical experiments so maybe all creatures have some purpose even if food isn't one of them.

    Keep us posted! I hope you get some help by seeing the new doctor.

    1. Also, pigs are cute. :D

      Which does not stop me from eating bacon.

      Oh, Susanne! Mice and rats can make great pets. Or, alternatively, pet food for your pet snake. :)

  4. Bacon was my gateway meat into eating pork again :P

    But back to your health (and thank you for sharing), I do believe many people (including myself) have at the very least a sensitivity to gluten. I don't know if you've looked into a paleo/primal diet?

    1. Bacon. Mmmmmmmmm...bacon...so delicious.

      I have not looked into a paleo/primal diet. I'm still eyeing the gluten free diet and mourning pizza.


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